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Little Tragedies - Porcelain Pavilion CD (album) cover


Little Tragedies

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars This album is the product of activity of more early "incarnation" of "Little Tragedies" (unlike "New Faust" period). Generally speaking, it is a solo-album by leader of the band, Gennady Ilyin released with the name "Little Tragedies" with help of Igor Mikhel (guitars) and Evgeny Shchukin (sound engineering).

There are important differences between this album and music of 2005-2006 period. To a large extent, "Porcelain Pavilion" is "neoclassical", "chamber" music rather than "rock". This album almost does not contain "drive", "grooving" (people who think that Progressive Rock must definitely groove, possibly, should skip this one), unlike, for example, "New Faust". All drums here are programmed and do not play active role. But nevertheless "Porcelain Pavilion" is an example of excellent progressive rock including sophisticated, nice, marvellous, creative and imaginative music.

Style of "Porcelain Pavilion" is unique. There are some similarities with keyboard approach by Emerson, mellow moods and tunes a la Camel and The Flower Kings, and Russian classical music (in the first place, music by Tchaykovsky), but, however, music is original. Perhaps, albums like "New Faust" are more mature, but they are closer to "Prog-Rock Mainstream" and may seem not so original (because, for example, contain to a larger degree Emerson-oriented keyboard-playing).

Music of "Porcelain Pavilion" is meditative and pastoral. As Gennady Ilyin said in one of his interviews, this music is a something like a "hidden liturgy". For me highlights of the album are "Nature", "Poet", "Creativity", "In the Sky", "Fairy Tale". These tracks seem very beautiful, elegant, nice, fragile and marvellous. The only disturbing element is vocals in "The Way" which are too much harsh and straightforward and therefore destroy meditative mood. But it is my personal opinion; in general, this song also contains good melodies, lush keyboard arrangements and other interesting features.

"Porcelain Pavillion" really contains play on analog synths and interesting guitar work. But the main value is concerned with very good compositions which create unique musical world. This album is a must have for listeners appreciating Original Treatment of Progressive Rock rather than conformity with Prog-Rock Mainstream.

Report this review (#103753)
Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Same year with ''The sun of spirit'' comes the second part of Gennady Ilyin's trilogy, entitled ''Porcelain pavilion'' and practically recorded around the same time with the first part with Igor Mikhel on guitars.It was released on Boheme Music and the album has seen a few reissues, the MALS one credited to Ilyin contains also some bonus material.''Porcelain pavilion'' marks also the first attempt by Ilyin to promote his project through a videoclip (the chosen track was the ''The way'').

''Porcelain pavilion'' has a slightly more optimistic approach than the previous album, somewhat abandoning the intense, sinister Avant-Garde-like moments for a more dreamy, accesible and pleasant sound, always along the lines of Classical-flavored Progressive Rock.Musically the album is heavily led by Ilyin's keyboard pyrotechnics with organ, synthesizers and piano as the main instruments, delivering a more direct style towards Classic Symphonic Rock with evident E.L.P. nuances.The music is interesting with a few nice melodies, angular solos and vintage-styled organ moves, rarely giving emphasis on the cinematic soundscapes of the previous work, although some Electronic and ambiental atmospheres are still present.The concept flows with Ilyin's narration, always delivered in the Russian language, and the sporadic moments with Mikhel on guitars become extremely bombastic, having a certain more grandiose flavor.The synthetic drums are an issue, but basically for a one-man effort ''Porcelain pavilion'' appears to be more than decent, maybe a bit more of an electric taste with guitars could give the album a higher value.

Keyboard-based Prog Rock with some lovely symphonic colors, struggling a bit due to a plastic rhythm section.Nothing more, nothing less.Recommended.

Report this review (#1170351)
Posted Saturday, May 3, 2014 | Review Permalink

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